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Women and Freedmen's Aid after the Civil War

Document 5

Friends Amongst The Freedmen

       We have again been encouraged by the cheerful letters of our Teachers, and although some of the schools are not quite as well filled as we could desire, they generally express the opinion that ere another month rolls round there will be a considerable increase in numbers.

       It should be borne in mind, that in the effort to be self-sustaining, the Freedmen must labor, and that diligently, whenever and as long as they can find work to do. This is increasingly the case since the assistance formerly rendered by the North has almost entirely ceased, and they are now left dependent upon their own exertions.

       MARY A. TAYLOR, also at Mount Pleasant, remarks, "Little that is new can be said of our school, nor do I know that there should be anything new, only the old well persevered in. The average has been unusually good this month, (forty-three out of forty-five.) In these schools we do not have to make the ordinary allowance for sickness, for they come when they are sick, sit around the fire until their chill has passed off, and then resume their work. . . .

       "I enjoy the opening exercises in the morning. The colored teacher we have assisting us is a very good singer, and we have taught the children a number of beautiful little hymns, which they sing very sweetly."

       MARY MCBRIDE, at Fairfax Court House, Va., gives a very satisfactory account of her school, and states, that in addition to the 39 pupils she reports as in the first, second, and third readers, she has "four who can read anything set before them; they have been through the fourth reader long since."

       CATHARINE E. HALL, at Vienna, Va., reports a considerable increase in her school, but regrets the roof and weatherboarding of the house are insufficient to keep out the rain and snow.

-- Report by Jacob M. Ellis for the Friends' Association for the Aid and Elevation of
Freedmen, "Friends Amongst the Freedmen," Friends' Intelligencer, December 1867.

10. What do these brief reports reveal about education for freedmen and freedwomen?

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11.  According to Ellis, in addition to achieving education, what must the freedmen and freedwomen do to improve their condition?

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